Does Tap Water Cause Acne? Here’s Why Some Dermatologists Are Saying Yes

Does Tap Water Cause Acne? Here’s Why Some Dermatologists Are Saying Yes
Photo: ImaxTree

Whether you’re using cleansers, toners, or moisturizers as part of your daily skin care routine, we all share the collective goal to clear away our impurities and have smooth, acne-free skin. But there’s one thing that we’re all using which may actually be the cause of our skin problems in the first place: tap water.

Unless you’re super rich and have the time to wash your face using bottled water, you’re most likely rinsing your face using the tap water from your bathroom sink. Trouble is, that could be the source of breakouts.

MORE: Moringa Oil Is the New Must-Have Ingredient for Perfect, Clear Skin

Racked interviewed NYC-based dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross, who said that heavy metals such as iron, copper, and zinc, all found in tap water, are free radicals (unstable, reactive molecules that damage living cells), which can destroy collagen, causing wrinkles, inflammation, acne and rosacea.

But—don’t worry, there is a way to continue your skin care routine without avoiding water. After you wash your face, be sure to use products with high levels of antioxidants, Gross said. A couple options? La Roche-Posay’s Anthelion AOX Daily Antioxidant Serum ($42.50) packs sunscreen in with the skin-boosting ingredients; on the pricier side, SkinCeuticals’ Phloretin CF Gel ($165) adds vitamin C to the mix. 

Dermatologist Dr. Julie Russak, also interviewed by Racked, suggested adding a micellar water to your skin care routine, like the cult classic from Bioderma ($10.50).

MORE: 7 Amazing Oil-Free Moisturizers—Because, Yes, Even Oily Skin Needs Hydration

“It’s a great option, as it is a no-rinse makeup remover that gently cleanses makeup, dirt, and debris without stripping the skin, so it maintains the skin’s moisture balance,” Russak said.

Thanks for the heads-up. We’re going to go stock up on micellar water now.